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New signage option to facilitate contraflow cycling

Starting this year, councils are expected to be able to create cycling contraflows on one-way streets without undertaking expensive planning consultation and traffic engineering works, the London Cycling Campaign reports.

Thanks to long-anticipated - and according to some cycling bodies, long overdue - new Department for Transport signage rules, councils should be able to add additional “Except cyclists” signs to existing red and white 'No Entry' signage.

Currently, if a council wishes to operate a cycling contraflow system in a one-way street, it must create a separate entry point for cyclists which can mean extensive road works and considerable expense. 

Traffic experts believe that it was the creation of one-way systems around Britain’s town and cities that discouraged many cyclists from undertaking what were once short, urban journeys which were lengthened by unnecessary one-way detours. In many European cities, notably Brussels, cyclists routinely have two-way access to what are nominally one-way streets.

The "except cyclist" signage widely used on the continent has been trialled in a number of London boroughs, prior to its anticipated roll out across the UK.

A DfT spokesperson told road.cc:

“We have been pleased with the results of the trials of the new no entry except cyclists sign and will be making an announcement shortly on how more councils across the country will be able to make use of this tool to help improve journeys for cyclists.”
 

11 comments

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spaceyjase [53 posts] 5 years ago
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Hurrah!

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bikecellar [268 posts] 5 years ago
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watched this overweight "motoring journalist" having a pop at cyclists for going the wrong way down one way systems, on the beeb this morning, all of course very london centric stuff, perhaps this will help?

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iDavid [47 posts] 5 years ago
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Credit is due to Daniel Moylan, deputy leader of Kensington council, who spent five years battling with DfT to get the first cyclist exemption sign in his borough - on a temporary basis.

Now they're poised to pop up everywhere. A welcome outbreak of common sense.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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Rumour is that this didn't happen until someone senior in the DfT who had opposed "Except cycles" plates for years retired.

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Simon E [2654 posts] 5 years ago
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Shrewsbury's town centre is dominated by a one way system and the level of traffic certainly makes it less enjoyable than it ought to be walking and cycling from A to B.

Shropshire council currently has a public consultation on some suggested contra-flow cycle lanes. I anticipate some may be more useful or logical than others.

I'm cautious about contra-flow but will wait and see what it's like (I've not used them before).

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Stefan [60 posts] 5 years ago
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Excellent, although I have to admit I don't tend to hit too many one way systems I know of places this would really cut down on the headache.

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davebinks [148 posts] 5 years ago
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The few contra flow ones I have used (Leicester) have been separated from the main highway by kerbs etc, so the traffic danger has been removed, but this just encourages pedestrians to walk along them and not look where they're going.

SO if there are no kerbs, the peds will probably stay on the pavement, but the drivers need to be educated to stay out of the bike lane, including not parking on it.

The other problem I have found is peds only look in the direction of the main traffic flow before stepping out, and thus directly into my path.

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Simon E [2654 posts] 5 years ago
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davebinks wrote:

peds only look in the direction of the main traffic flow before stepping out, and thus directly into my path.

Some seem to do this regardless of traffic direction. The iPod and mobile phone were invented to increase participation.

It's an imperfect world, and zombie peds are just another of the things the urban cyclist should be aware of. They are resistant to training and are likely to remonstrate with you if you do more than use a bell, though I'd love to have an excuse to use one of these:

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rbx [226 posts] 5 years ago
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Great news! Specially if Central LDN councils can put this to good use.

And while we're on earphone-zombie pedastrians, I'll like to add the danger or similarly earphone-zombie cyclists as well. I'm scared of them more, given they're already on the road / bikepath  2

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John_the_Monkey [436 posts] 5 years ago
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It's widespread in Belgium, as the article intimates.

It just works there - it made getting around Brugge much easier.

I have my doubts about it here, because not many drivers keep their knowledge of traffic law up to date, and not many observe what's around them. Still, we can hope for the best, I suppose.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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I've heard that it doesn't really cause safety issues (this from Cycling England where contraflow cycling has been introduced in cycle demonstration towns). Most drivers do actually look forwards through their windscreens as they drive, so on narrow side streets with little traffic they notice cyclists coming towards them.